Two BMS Neighborhood Heroes named today at news conference to preview America's Night Race
WHY we do the Neighborhood Heroes Program at Bristol Motor Speedway
Two organizations that play vital roles in their respective areas in Northeast Tennessee were honored today as Neighborhood Heroes by Bristol Motor Speedway during a news conference at the Walters State Regional Law Enforcement Training Academy in Morristown.
The two recipients, Walters State Regional Law Enforcement Training Academy and the Northview/Kodak Fire Department, were named BMS Neighborhood Heroes and will be officially honored on Saturday, Sept. 17, during pre-race ceremonies for the Bass Pro Shops Night Race, a Round of 16 Playoff race in the NASCAR Cup Series.
“In 2018 we started a mission that has become very important to us at Bristol Motor Speedway,” said Jerry Caldwell, president of Bristol Motor Speedway. “We started a very special program called the Bristol Motor Speedway Neighborhood Heroes that recognizes first responders, military members and others in our regional communities who have gone above and beyond the call of duty in their professions to make significant impacts in the lives of others. Over the years we have honored many very deserving individuals from cities all around Bristol Motor Speedway.
“We are extremely blessed to be able to host races and entertain our guests who come out to Bristol Motor Speedway to enjoy the events in a worry-free manner. All of that is possible because of the great efforts of our first responders and military who work tirelessly around the clock to keep us safe.
“We are so proud to name the Walters State Regional Law Enforcement Training Academy and the Northview/Kodak Fire Department as BMS Neighborhood Heroes for 2022 and we look forward to honoring them on Saturday night, Sept. 17, prior to the green flag during America’s Night Race.”
The Walters State Regional Law Enforcement Training Academy is being honored for the great work it does in replenishing quality law enforcement staff for a variety of agencies. Their cadets fill a variety of positions for law enforcement groups throughout the region and the state of Tennessee. Their most recent class, No. 125, features 51 cadets who will graduate on Sept. 15, 2022. Many of those cadets will be in attendance as guests of Bristol Motor Speedway at the upcoming Bass Pro Shops Night Race. Travis Stansell, director of the Walters State Regional Law Enforcement Training Academy, will accept the award on the pre-race stage along the track’s frontstretch.
Another honoree holds a very special place in our hearts. The fire fighters of the Northview/Kodak Fire Department are being honored for the bravery they displayed in doing a most difficult job and fighting the recent Wears Valley Wild Fires in the Smoky Mountains which burned over 3,700 acres and forced hundreds of evacuations. During the fire, their truck became instantly surrounded by fire. As it seemed their fate would be the worst and there was no way out, the crew began to call family members to say their goodbyes. Miraculously, before the flames overtook their truck and destroyed it, a forestry bulldozer was spotted across the ridge that made a path that led to a forestry truck that came out of nowhere to haul them away to safety. Members of the Northview/Kodak Fire Dept. will be in attendance at America’s Night Race as guests of BMS. Northview/Kodak Fire Chief John Satterfield accept the award on behalf of his fire unit on the pre-race stage along the track’s frontstretch.
NASCAR Camping World Truck Series championship contender Grant Enfinger, driver of the No. 23 Chevy for GMS Racing, attended the event today and assisted BMS officials in making the presentation. Enfinger is currently second in the Camping World Truck Series Playoff points standings and he finished second in the UNOH 200 presented by Ohio Logistics last year at BMS.
Enfinger told both recipients that they can look forward to a great time during the pre-race ceremonies, where each group will be presented with a commemorative BMS Neighborhood Heroes plaque.
“Congratulations for this honor, and thank you both for your service,” Enfinger said. “Any opportunity to honor these true heroes we make a point to do that. I feel like the track at Bristol does a great job of that. Every NASCAR track has great pre-race ceremonies but at Bristol they always seem to take it up a notch, so you are in store for a cool experience.”
Enfinger gave rides to the media in the BMS Pace Car around the Regional Law Enforcement Training Academy’s road course that they use to get the cadets up to speed on how to handle a police cruiser. Enfinger was followed around the road course by one of the police training vehicles piloted by one of the academy’s training officers, which also gave media rides. On each lap, Enfinger pulled away at the controls of the BMS Pace Car, a powerful Chevy Camaro.
“It was a lot of fun out here today,” Enfginer says. “At first I didn’t feel comfortable running away from the sirens but it got easier with every lap so I don’t know what that says about me. I was very impressed with the Camaro we have here, it’s got a lot of power. It was fun to drive and it’s definitely fun to be on a course like this where if you mess up you don’t really have much of a price to pay. It was definitely a lot of fun out there.”
Enfinger also checked out one of the Northview/Kodak Fire Dept. trucks and was able to spray water from the truck’s powerful hoses, learn about how the truck works and pose for photos with the members of the Northview/Kodak Fire Dept.
The America’s Night Race weekend begins on Thursday, Sept. 15 with Enfinger, Zane Smith, John Hunter Nemechek, Ben Rhodes and defending winner Chandler Smith battling for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Playoff victory in the UNOH 200 presented by Ohio Logistics (Sept. 15, 9 p.m., FS1, MRN Radio). The rising stars in the ARCA Menards Series also will take on the challenging half-mile bullring in the Bush’s Beans 200 as part of the Thursday night doubleheader (Sept. 15, 6:30 p.m., FS1, MRN Radio).
On Friday, Sparks are sure to fly in the Food City 300, as NASCAR Xfinity Series favorites A.J. Allmendinger, Noah Gragson, Justin Allgaier, Ty Gibbs and Josh Berry will be trying to lock in their Playoff positions in the season’s final regular season race (Sept. 16, 7:30 p.m., USA Network, PRN Radio). The stars of the NASCAR Cup Series will take to the track on Saturday for the Bass Pro Shops Night Race (Sept. 17, 7:30 p.m., USA Network, PRN Radio), you’ll get to see all of your favorite drivers racing hard to advance in the first elimination race of the Playoffs.
To purchase tickets, please visit www.bristolmotorspeedway.com or call the BMS Ticket Sales Center at (866) 415-4158. Fans can also purchase tickets at any Food City location through Sept. 6.